Some fresh Social Media Research from the field…

On March 1, 2010, in Featured, by tgoodridge

Generic_scientist_blueSome data hit the interwebs last week breaking down recent trends in corporate social media use. With the amount of time we spend working with and talking about social media, it’s easy to forget not everyone thinks these tehcniques are valuable and is willing to integrate them into a larger corporate strategy. The good news is, that according to Burson-Marsteller,  most Fortune Global 100 companies are using social media platforms.

It reported Twitter as the most popular, with 65% of the largest 100 international companies having active accounts, compared with 54% on Facebook, 50% on YouTube, and just 33% with corporate blogs. That pattern was reversed in Asia. More businesses there were likely to rely on corporate blogs than Facebook pages or Twitter. The study also showed that only 20% of these companies use a combination of these platforms together.

So, progress has been made: businesses have tried these tools and sticking with them long term. The remaining challenge, then, is for companies to find a comprehensive and definitive way of defining and measuring success. That’s where Paul Gillin comes in.

Since December, Paul Gillin has been conducting his own study on multi-channel social media strategies. His quick findings are that:

  • The metrics companies are using are all over the map
  • Few organizations are taking a disciplined approach to measuring ROI
  • There is a consensus emerging on what’s important and that companies are starting to focus on the metrics

What the Burson-Marsteller study doesn’t show(as an article on ReadWriteWeb pointed out) is if social media marketing techniques are gaining “significant corporate acceptance”. There are people at these companies using these platforms, but we’re just not sure how integrated their tactics are with the company’s overall strategy.

What interests me is the gap between the industry interest in Twitter and the low number of young users, teens and college students. According to the New York Times, and my own experience with teenagers, they prefer texting to tweeting. Will they see the light when they get older, or will we have forgotten about Twitter 10 years from now? That’s something for another day….

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